Principles of Bible Interpretation

Principle No. 1
No single text of the Bible can contradict the general truth of the Bible.
 
What is the general truth of the Bible?
God is one, alone in creation, there is no other deity beside Him.

There are over 10,000 Bible texts that either implicitly or explicitly declare the absolute, solitary Oneness of God.

Implicit texts declare that God is a solitary one by the use of singular pronouns, verbs, and adjectives when referring to God Almighty.

Examples:
  1. Gen. 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
  2. 1 Kings 11:33 Because that they have forsaken me, and have worshipped Ashtoreth...
  3. Ezekiel 13: 8 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye have spoken vanity, and seen lies, therefore, behold, I am against you, saith the Lord GOD.
Explicit texts clearly state that God is One and alone in His reign.

Examples:

  1. Deuteronomy 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD (cf. Mark 12:29).
  2. Job 9:8 Which alone spreadeth out the heavens, and treadeth upon the waves of the sea.
  3. Isaiah 44:6 Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer (referring to Jacob) the LORD of hosts; I am the first and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.
  4. Isaiah 44:24 Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself.
  5. Malachi 2:10 Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us?
  6. Mark 12:28-31 And one of the scribes.....asked him, Which is the first (most important) commandment of all. And Jesus answered him, The first (most important) of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:....See Deuteronomy 6:4.
  7. 1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and man.
  8. James 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
Principle No 2.
Verses that are difficult to understand must be interpreted in the light of those verses more easily understood.

There are less than 10 verses in the Bible that are misunderstood because they are not properly interpreted.

They are:

  1. Genesis. 1:26 Let us make man in our image.
  2. Genesis 3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever.
  3. Genesis 11:7 Go to, let >us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.
  4. Isaiah 6:8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.
  5. Matthew. 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
  6. II Corinthians 13:14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.
  7. 1 John 5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are One.

The verses above can be difficult understand if approached without a firm understanding of God's personality a presented in the rest of the Bible.

Does the Bible contradict itself?

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If the Bible cannot, and does not contradict itself, we must interpret these verses by looking at verses which are more easily understood. We must look at the 10,000 verses that declare the simple truth of God's Oneness to help us gain an understanding of the fewer difficult verses.

  • If God is "ONE" then what does the "us" mean?
  • If God is speaking, Who is He speaking to?
  • When you speak, you speak in one of two directions.
A. Externally...to others
If God was speaking to others this would mean that others were involved in creation.....Is this possible? No, the Bible states clearly that he was alone in creation.
B. Internally....to yourself. Could God have been speaking to Himself?
There are two examples presented in the Bible that God could have used in speaking internally.
1. He could have used the Plural of majesty...Ezra 4:18.... which is a way that kings, heads of state and other monarch use.(See Elohim for information on Plural of Majesty.)
Example:
A King making a speech to his subjects could say,
"When we came to speak to you today...."

2. The second way that God could have spoken internally is by using the Plural of deliberation....Ephesians 1:11......God deliberating within His own will.

How do we know?

We don't...God didn't clarify his statements.

He said He was Alone.


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